Breakfast at Tiffany's

Breakfast at Tiffany's

4.6 63
Director: Blake Edwards

Cast: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal

     
 

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In an idealized New York City during the early '60s, Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) is a charming socialite with a youthful zest for life who lives alone in a nearly bare apartment. She has such a flippant lifestyle that she won't even give her cat a name, because that would be too much of a commitment to a relationship. Maintaining a childlike innocence yet wearing… See more details below

Overview

In an idealized New York City during the early '60s, Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) is a charming socialite with a youthful zest for life who lives alone in a nearly bare apartment. She has such a flippant lifestyle that she won't even give her cat a name, because that would be too much of a commitment to a relationship. Maintaining a childlike innocence yet wearing the most perfect of designer clothes and accessories from Givenchy, she spends her time on expensive dates and at high-class parties. She escorts various wealthy men, yet fails to return their affections after they have given her gifts and money. Holly's carefree independence is changed when she meets her neighbor, aspiring writer Paul (George Peppard), who is suffering from writer's block while being kept by a wealthy woman (Patricia Neal). Just when Holly and Paul are developing their sweet romance, Doc (Buddy Ebsen) appears on the scene and complicates matters, revealing the truth about Holly's past. Breakfast at Tiffany's was nominated for several Academy awards, winning Best Score for Henry Mancini and Best Song for Johnny Mercer's classic tune "Moon River."

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
Blake Edwards's elegant 1961 adaptation of Truman Capote's novella has lost none of its sophisticated sheen or stylish sparkle, thanks to Audrey Hepburn's divine performance as wild child Holly Golightly, who lives a carefree, madcap existence in New York. She tells her new neighbor, struggling writer Paul Varjak (George Peppard), "I've taken care of myself for a long time." While the term “escort” and its less seemly variations don’t come into play, Holly’s sustains herself with $50 gratuities from the men she dates. Would-be novelist Paul is compromised, too, as he accepts cash on the nightstand from his "decorator" (Patricia Neal). Hepburn's Holly is a screen icon: the supremely elegant party girl who seems desperate for love yet thoroughly isolated from it. For all its fun and parties, Breakfast at Tiffany's is at heart a somber film, rich in the romance of the big city yet attuned to its soul-crushing realities. Hepburn and Peppard get wonderful support from the rest of the cast: Buddy Ebsen as a figure from Holly's surprising past; John McGiver as an incredibly patient Tiffany's salesman; Martin Balsam as a Hollywood sleaze who has Holly's number; and Alan Reed (best known as the voice of Fred Flintstone) as convict Sally Tomato, to whom the unwitting Holly delivers "weather reports" in prison. Contemporary viewers coming to the film for the first time may be shocked by Mickey Rooney’s turn as Mr. Yunioshi, Holly's perpetually exasperated and disapproving Japanese neighbor -- Rooney's performance begins at racially insensitive and never looks back. Perhaps the most significant performer after Hepburn, though, is Henry Mancini: It’s impossible to imaging the film without his dreamy Oscar-winning score and its melancholy theme, "Moon River."
All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
Blake Edwards may have directed Breakfast at Tiffany's, and screenwriter George Axelrod certainly did a splendid job of adjusting Truman Capote's novel for the screen, but from the first moment Audrey Hepburn steps out of a cab with her coffee and danish and window shops at Tiffany's after a night on the town, this is her movie, and it's all but impossible to imagine another actress in the role. Beyond her tremendous charm and buoyant comic timing, Hepburn manages to make Holly Golightly at once resilient and fragile, a woman who knows her way around Manhattan but still hasn't figured out how not to be hurt by the world around her -- it would have been easy to make Holly seem flighty and annoying, but in Hepburn's capable hands she's an adorable, jaded innocent whose hipster façade and oft-stated desire to marry a wealthy man never quite disguises her need to be loved and to belong. As Paul Varjak, Holly's neighbor, friend, confidante, and eventual boyfriend, George Peppard is almost a bit too strong and solid -- he seems a mite stiff much of the time -- but he plays well off of Hepburn, and knows enough to stay out of her way; elsewhere, Patricia Neal is spot on as Paul's cheerfully cynical "sponsor," and Buddy Ebsen is superb in a brief turn as the former husband of the former Lula Mae Barnes (and could anyone blame him for wanting her back?). The film's only obvious casting mistake is Mickey Rooney, whose buck-toothed and over-the-top shtick as Mr. Yunioshi might be a shade less offensive if he were the least bit funny. However, between Edwards' frothy pacing, Franz F. Planer's lovely location camerawork, and Henry Mancini's memorable score, Breakfast at Tiffany's is a thoroughly charming and witty valentine to one special woman and the city she loves that still enchants more than 40 years after it first hit the screen.
All Movie Guide
Few performers are as inextricably linked to a character as Audrey Hepburn to the role of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Her Holly is a delicate portrait of a grown-up girl with the soul of a child. Blake Edwards's spirited direction sets a deceptively light tone as he gradually reveals a portrait of two young New Yorkers who, like the film itself, are more complicated than they first appear. George Axelrod's adaptation of the Truman Capote novel successfully balances sentiment and comedy, and Henry Mancini's legendary score (including the Oscar-winning "Moon River"), sets the film's tempo. George Peppard is solid as writer Paul Varjak, and we understand his impulse to try to shield Holly from a world that's tougher than she is. While Hepburn's impish spirit makes this film a classic, other aspects of the film, most notably, Mickey Rooney's insulting characterization of a buck-toothed Japanese neighbor, have become somewhat dated. Capote originally envisioned Marilyn Monroe as Holly; it's a testament to Hepburn's performance that one can hardly imagine any other actress as Holly. Breakfast at Tiffany's became the most recognized role of her career, and, for many viewers, one of the most cherished romances ever made. Matthew Doberman

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Product Details

Release Date:
12/02/1996
UPC:
0097360650518
Original Release:
1961
Rating:
NR
Source:
Paramount
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Audrey Hepburn Holly Golightly
George Peppard Paul Varjak
Patricia Neal 2-E
Buddy Ebsen Doc Golightly
Martin Balsam O.J. Berman
Mickey Rooney Mr. Yunioshi
John McGiver Tiffany's Clerk
Dorothy Whitney Mag Wildwood
Stanley Adams Rusty Trawler
Elvia Allman Librarian
Alan Reed Sally Tomato
Beverly Hills Stripper
Claude Stroud Sid Arbuck
Dick Crockett Taxi Driver
José-Luis de Villalonga Jose da Silva Perriera
Kip King Delivery Boy
James Lanphier The Cousin
Valerie Putney Cat
Joan Staley Girl in Low-Cut Dress

Technical Credits
Blake Edwards Director
Roland Anderson Production Designer
George Axelrod Screenwriter
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
Hubert de Givenchy Costumes/Costume Designer
John P. Fulton Special Effects
Hugo Grenzbach Sound/Sound Designer
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Martin Jurow Producer
Henry Mancini Score Composer
William McGarry Asst. Director
Johnny Mercer Songwriter
Ray Moyer Set Decoration/Design
Hal Pereira Production Designer
Franz Planer Cinematographer
Richard Shepherd Producer
Howard A. Smith Editor
Wally Westmore Makeup
John K. Wilkinson Sound/Sound Designer
Truman Capote Source Author

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